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NP: September 2, 1864 The Bedford Inquirer: 76th PA at Fussell’s Mill, August 16, 1864


NEAR HATCHERS Va., August 21st, 1864.

Editor Bedford Inquirer:—

SIR:— I have the honor to enclose herewith a copy of congratulatory orders promulgated by the Major General Commanding, to the 10th Army Corps, and to request that you give it publication in your valuable paper. There are three Pennsylvania Regiments serving in the 10th Corps, and a large number of boys from Bedford County, whose friends will notice with pleasure the acknowledgement of the officer’s services from Fort Pulaski Ga., to Sumter, Wagner, and the battles of the present campaign, from Port Walthall Junction, to Drury Bluff, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, and the recent achievements on the Peninsula, near Deep Bottom and New Market Cross Roads, by so distinguished authority as Major General [David B.] Birney, in the following General Orders.


NEAR FUSSELL’S MILLS, VA., August 19th, 1864.

The Major General Commanding [Major General David B. Birney] congratulates the 10th Army Corps on its success. It has on each occasion, when ordered, broken the enemy’s strong lines, and has captured during this short campaign, four siege guns protected by the most formidable works, six stand of colors, and many prisoners. It has proved itself worthy of its Old Wagner and Sumter renown.

Much fatigue, patience and heroism may still be demanded of it, but the Major General Commanding feels confident of the response.

By Command of Major General, D. B. Birney.
(Signed) E. D. Smith, A. A. General.

The casualties in the 76th [Pennsylvania] Regiment, in the battle of New Market on the 16th inst. [August 16, 1864], are 81 men wounded, 7 killed, and 9 missing, who are supposed to be either killed or wounded. Company “E” had 1st Lieut. R.P. Pilkinton wounded, left forearm; 2nd Lieut. Levi Smith wounded, left side, painful; Henry H. Miller shoulder, slight; Adam Himes shoulder, slight; privates, John T. Eckels and Benj. R. Malin, Missing.1

It is reported here that [Union Fifth Corps commander Gouverneur K.] Warren is now on the Weldon R[ail].R[oad]., we have withdrawn from Deep Bottom, and Hancock is on the quick-step for Petersburg.2 Birney is under marching orders and in a few hours we will know where we are to go. Heavy cannonading is heard in the direction of the Weldon R.R., and I think this has given us decided advantage over Lee.3 The rebels say we are marching them to death, for we taking the invitation can move off cautiously and at ease, and pitch into them at some far off point, and they have to fly almost to get up in time for its defense; weather cool and the army in general movement.

Yours Very Respectfully,

Serg’t. Major.5

SOPO Editor’s Note: This article was transcribed by Roy Gustrowsky.

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  1. SOPO Editor’s Note: This is the Battle of Fussell’s Mill, part of the Second Battle of Deep Bottom on August 16, 1864, fought during the Second Deep Bottom Campaign from August 14-20, 1864.
  2. SOPO Editor’s Note: The object of the Second Deep Bottom campaign was to draw as many Confederate forces north of the James as possible to distract from the lunge against the Weldon Railroad, while also trying to keep Confederate forces from reinforcing Early’s Confederate Valley Army. Hancock’s Union Second Corps played a role at Second Deep Bottom before being returned south of the James back to near Petersburg to take advantage of any Confederate weakness in their lines.
  3. SOPO Editor’s Note: The heavy cannonading heard in the direction of the Weldon Railroad was the second day’s fighting at the Battle of Globe Tavern on August 19, 1864.
  4. SOPO Editor’s Note: A quick look at the field and staff for the 76th Pennsylvania shows that Sergeant Major Rawlins’ first name was Isaiah.
  5. “Congratulatory Orders.” The Bedford Inquirer, September 2, 1864, p. 2, col. 3
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